Fifteen. Outgoing. Blonde hair. Blue eyes. Spotless, perfect, slightly tanned skin. Straight A student. Only barely reaching 100 pounds on an off day.
I'm so fat, she'd say to herself every morning in the mirror. Size 2 waistline. It wasn't good enough. She could do much better. She needed perfect.
"Oh, Brielle," her friends would say at lunch, disappointment clear on their faces. "Not eating again today?" School food was dripping with unhealthy grease and calories. The question would echo in the back of her head. Eat? I don't need to eat, look at me! Now, she barely heard it anymore. They were used to it.
Everyone was used to it. Her friends would joke about how she could probably get blown over by a big enough gust of wind, how she was too skinny. She laughed; her friends were too funny. One kid even said something about starving herself. Starve myself? Ridiculous! Can't they see how big I am? It's called a diet.
Strangers would toss words at her like 'anorexic,' or 'bulimic.' She had no idea what either was, except something about refusing to eat, or eating a bunch and puking it up purposely. Which was stupid.
Or was it?
Sixteenth birthday. Streamers, noise makers, silly hats. And... Cake. Cake and ice cream and cookies and hotdogs. Things she hadn't dare touch in months. But she wanted to taste it all. She should be allowed too, right? Sixteen was a turning point in every teenager's lifetime- and crazily enough, she could get away with it.
So she ate. She ate and ate and ate and nobody stopped her because she never ate in the first place. Everyone was glad, because they all knew she had a problem but no one would say anything. And for the first time in months, she felt full. But full was fat.
Party long over, she sat in the bathroom. No longer full. She was flushing that fat feeling down the toilet and wiping it off her mouth. Fullness felt bitter and bad tasting. But that was the beginning.
After that day, she no longer starved herself. She ate and then puked it up later. It was her cheat out of hunger. Worked every time. And now, her friends wouldn't have to worry. No one suspected a thing.
But she was still too fat. How could she stop this excessive weight gain? She needed to be perfect. Exercise? That's how I can do it. I'll be skinny in no time!
So that's how it went. Eating and puking and exercising too much. Size 2 waistline droops. Then size 1. After another month, here's size 0, snug around her waist. It's not good enough. Never good enough. 00 is too close, she can taste it and she needs it. Almost perfect.
Her routine goes on and on and on. She looses 2 adult teeth because the puking has made her teeth weak. One day, a friend asks, "Brielle, what's that stuff on your arm?" Flakes, yellow. She doesn't know what it is. She shrugs it off as a bug bite or something. She never sleeps. There's black circles under her eyes, but she can cover that up with makeup. None of that even matters. She's almost perfect. But not quite.
Almost seventeen, she shrugs into 00 pants. Excided, she dances around her room. One could see her rib cage if she stretched. She glances in the mirror.
The same fat blob stared back. 00 still wasn't enough. What else could she do? She sat on her bed. Pondering, thinking, considering. Why wasn't her mother home yet? She felt funny. Her heart was still too fast. Way too fast. She needed to lay down. Her vision was in doubles. The corners of her eyes were darkening.
And then, everything went black.
Almost perfect, but not quite.